Is there something that haunts you from within despite the best possible efforts you make? Are you now in a state of hating yourself for what you have done? In spite of hiding your mistakes from your parents, friends and others, have you lost your peace? Is the feeling of guilt killing you day after day? It is indeed good to have the feeling of guilt arising within provided you deal with it the right way. Guilt is a God-given alarm to make you realize your mistakes; waking up to the alarm will help you to work your way out of the guilt. Instead of justifying what you have done, and convincing yourself by saying “Everyone does that” or “I am not as bad as he/she is”, you have realized that you are at mistake; and is something you can feel happy about.
It is very important to tackle this feeling without making a dangerous and drastic decision. When you’re feeling guilty, take it in an optimistic way; since you now realize your mistake, you should not repeat it. Thinking over past mistakes again and again is just like having a stinking cloth in your hand and trying to find out where the smell is from; unless you throw the cloth away, you will not get rid of its stink. It is just the same with your feeling of guilt; you have to throw it away.
What should you do when you feel guilty? Never repeat the same action again, now that you know it’s a mistake. If you are addicted to that action, ask God to take complete control of you. Do not hate yourself. Rather, feel happy about the alarm that will prompt you when doing an act of guilt again. Do not keep thinking and imagining what others would think about you if they found you guilty. Everyone makes mistakes and so no one is without guilt. But the fact is, not everyone realizes his or her mistakes. Believe in God; He alone can remove all your guilt.
How can God take away my guilt? It is my mistake that haunts me. God never prevented me from making such a mistake; how then can He take away my guilt? Where does He come into the picture? What has He got to do with my actions and reactions? We are often confused by such questions. But my dear friend, besides God there is no one who can take away your guilt. It is only He who has the authority to forgive you, and He doesn’t withhold His forgiveness from anyone who comes to Him. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is exactly for this reason that Jesus took all our guilt upon Himself and shed His own blood. Yes, Jesus was killed – He was nailed to the cross and underwent immense pain only to remove our guilt. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
How does Jesus dying centuries ago take away my guilt today? Do you feel everything said above to be confusing? It is quite common to question how events that happened many centuries ago could account for today’s guilt. It is just because Jesus conquered death that He lives delivering all those who are bound in the feeling of guilt. He did this centuries ago and still does it even today, as Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Whatever your past life is, if you believe in the forgiving authority of Christ and accept Him, you become a new creation. He forgets all your past and gives you a new life. We often consider ourselves to be greater than God and say, when I myself am not able to forgive my own mistakes, how can God forgive me? “Even if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything.” We consider ourselves to be disgusting and fail to realize God has already blessed us with a new life. God Himself says “I, even I, am he that blots out your mistakes for my own sake and will not remember your mistakes any more”.
Cheer up my dear friend, why do you still bother? Even if you cannot forgive yourself, God can. He loves you more than you can imagine and hence offers forgiveness if you believe in His Son Jesus Christ. He can even give you the strength not to repeat the same mistakes in the future. You cannot deal with your problem of guilt yourself, only God can.